Forget Leon, SA must fight Israeli apartheid

04 April 2021 - 00:00 By Roshan Dadoo

There is much to legitimately criticise about SA’s foreign policy and our judiciary. Tony Leon’s op-ed (https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/opinion-and-analysis/2021-03-28-israel-a-handy-alibi-for-sas-poor-foreign-policy/) (March 28, 2021), however, is a criticism of neither, but simply an attempt to defend Israel and its supporters in SA. In doing so, he uses the well-worn pro-Israeli tactic of “whataboutery”, deflecting attention from Israel’s egregious human rights violations and apartheid.

According to professor Salim Vally, “in attempting to isolate the erstwhile South African apartheid regime we were confronted with responses by apartheid apologists that often ended with the diversionary, ‘What about Pol Pot?’ or ‘What about Idi Amin?’ Once again supporters of Israel, and unfortunately even well-meaning liberals, voice similar evasive sentiments, including the indignant cousin of ‘whataboutery’, the complaint ‘Why single out Israel?’”..

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